Kate and Gerry McCann are said to be devastated after leaflets which suggest they are responsible for their daughter’s disappearance were distributed in their hometown.
Around 10,000 copies of the publication, entitled Ten Reasons to suggest Madeleine McCann was not abducted, were posted in Rothley, Leicstershire and the surrounding area.
Madeleine was three when she went missing from the McCann’s holiday apartment in Praia De Luz on May 3, 2007.
The leaflet states that the McCann’s version of events that night is a ‘sheer impossibility’ and that it is more likely Madeleine died in the apartment and the parents then covered up the death.
The leaflets have been posted around the village by an organisation called The Madeleine Foundation, whose members are calling for the case of the missing girl to be reopened.
This latest move from the organisation has also angered local residents living in Rothley. One local resident said the leaflet had stirred up memories that are still fresh in the minds of the local community.
Former lawyer Tony Bennett, set up The Madeleine Foundation and has previously tried and failed to bring a private prosecution against the McCanns for child neglect.
He and his supporters have also published a book, What really happened to Madeleine McCann? Sixty reasons to suggest she was not abducted.
The leaflet was delivered to homes in the street where Kate and Gerry McCann live with their two young children Sean and Amelie.
The McCanns, however, did not receive a leaflet themselves as the organisation said they had recently delivered a copy of the book to their home.
A family friend has said the family were so devastated by the hate campaign that they may sue for libel.
The family’s spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, said: ‘We do not wish to dignify the actions of the so-called Madeleine Foundation with any response. We do feel it is important, however, to make the general public aware that the foundation has no connection whatsoever with our family or those helping us find Madeleine or any law enforcement agencies.
‘We strongly believe the actions of this organisation do not have Madeleine’s best interests at heart. If anything, it is hampering our efforts to find Madeleine and to achieve justice on her behalf.’
Last year, Kate and Gerry McCann described the foundation, which charges ten pounds to join, as a “fee-paying club which is dedicated to blaming them for Madeleine’s disappearance”.